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Dark Sharks/Light Rays 

When: Oct. 18-29 2011

Karen Glaser, known for stunning color photos of Florida's swamps and their people (e.g., rangers and alligator wranglers), shifted her focus to saltwater and donned scuba gear for this monochrome series focusing on the ancient and mystical superorders of cartilaginous fishes: sharks and rays (Squalomorphii and Batoidea), two hundred million years old. The beautifully installed show's punning title describes Glaser's shots -- taken with Nikonos film cameras -- looking upward from the ocean floor: shafts of sunlight ("dramatic, reflecting, refracting, and bending") penetrating deep water, silhouetting schools of sharks above and illuminating ghostly skates and rays below. Glaser: "The Dark Sharks are rendered in a way that is kindred to that of cave paintings .... The Light Rays, ... printed like graceful etchings, on Kozo paper, represent the 'Zen' of the ocean, and its peaceful, meditative qualities." Dark Sharks/Light Rays runs through Oct. 29 at PHOTO Gallery (473 25th St., Oakland). 510-847-2416 or

— DeWitt Cheng


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